Living abroad is a dream come true for many people from around the globe. The reasons are different for everybody, from the natural boredom stemming from your all-too-familiar hometown to a simple yearning to get out into the world and experience something different.
There’s an abundance of countries you can visit that have considerably cheaper costs than a Western nation, and that makes expat life quite attractive. A lot of people retire abroad after successfully running a business in their home country for years. And why not? If you’ve managed to keep your business afloat via any means possible, which could include taking advantage of working capital loans, you might have more than enough income or savings to live well in a country with relatively low living costs. Take Bangkok, Thailand, for example, where if you’re happy living in a basic room with AC and hot water, you can have a roof over head for less than $200 a month – even cheaper if you think you can live without those amenities.
How do you become an expat if you’re not already wealthy? One of the easiest ways is to teach English. You can take a TEFL course in the space of one month and land a job before the course has even finished. For many students and adults, learning to teach English to foreign language speakers often starts out as just a way to make some cash and get a visa, but it can be financially and emotionally rewarding once you find your footing.
If you want to be a teacher and you want to make sure you have a good chance of getting a job in your preferred destination, look for TEFL courses located exactly where you want to live. There are a lot of people who’d like to try out teaching English as a second language, so you’ve got a better chance of snapping up the best jobs if you can start working right away. If you’re planning to move forward, make sure you have the visa you need to study. Some countries – like Thailand – will let you pursue a short one-month course on a tourist visa, but it’s worth checking the specific guidelines for the country in which you’d like to study or teach.
All this being said, a starting teacher’s wage can be far from enviable; liveable, but no dream come true. The real money comes from teaching in universities and international schools, but you’ll struggle to land jobs there if you only have a one month TEFL course on your CV. It’s worth noting that more and more online teaching schools seem to be opening, so there might soon be an abundance of good opportunities to teach from wherever you are in the world.
You might not be a fan of the idea of working full-time as an expat, which is fully understandable, especially if you’d like to adapt to the local way of life on some level. This is where freelancing becomes a great opportunity. Per hour, you can get decent writing gigs as a freelancer as long as you’re dependable. Exceeding $20 an hour is very realistic. The only challenge is finding enough hours to make it viable. Nevertheless, if you’ve got money put away and can prepare yourself for a decent few months of stringent living to get the client base you’ll need to succeed, you could find that a freelancing career gives you the ultimate sense of freedom.
If you’re totally against full-time work abroad and don’t fancy freelancing, you’re left with the option of making enough money at home to retire young – if you genuinely want to live out the rest of your days as an expat. If that’s exactly what you’re currently doing, then you’re probably focusing all your efforts on making sure you keep your business afloat. There are financial resources like working capital loans there to help you if you’ve already seen a bit of success, and making sure you save as much cash as possible will help you to unlock the life of a happy expat.